Customers in areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx will be able to have groceries collected by Instacart drivers from stores outside the city and delivered to their homes. Instacart is a same-day delivery service that pairs users with gig workers who shop for and deliver their orders.
Walmart previously offered grocery delivery in New York through its Jet.com service, which was shut down in 2020. Aside from this, the retail giant has made few moves into the New York City market and does not currently have stores there.
The move will allow Walmart to better compete with Amazon, which offers its Amazon Fresh delivery services for grocery in New York and has been ramping up speedy delivery options in urban areas.
“It’s about reaching more customers,” a Walmart spokesperson told The Journal, who said the retailer is using Instacart’s services in areas where it lacks stores.
Walmart didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
This isn’t the first time Walmart has teamed up with Instacart. The two companies partnered in 2019 to offer grocery delivery services to 200 Walmart stores across Canada. In 2020, it extended these same-day delivery options to parts of the US, including California and Oklahoma.
At the time, Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea described the partnership as Walmart’s latest “salvo in its delivery arms race with Amazon.”
“Walmart will continue to leverage its 5,300-plus physical locations in the US, which is a compelling competitive advantage as it provides consumers with a same-day pick-up option, with same-day delivery augmenting this capability, creating a very powerful one-two punch,” he said, Insider’s Áine Cain reported in 2020.
Delivery unicorn Gopuff, born as a fast delivery service geared for college students looking for late-night snacks and smoking supplies, announced a new $1 billion funding round on Friday, growing its valuation to $15 billion.
The latest round- led by new investors such as Blackstone, Guggenheim Investments, Hedosophia, and Adage Capital – follows a $1.15 billion round in March, which at the time, valued the company at nearly $9 billion.
The fast-growing Philadelphia-based delivery operator has now raised a total of $3.5 billion.
Much of those VC funds have been raised in recent months as the company aggressively grows its delivery footprint in the US. As of July 9, online grocery firms globally have received about $14 billion in venture backing since 2020, according to data from PitchBook.
Gopuff bills itself as an “instant-needs” delivery operator whose 4,000-item product mix includes snacks, baby supplies, cleaning products, beer and wine, and over-the-counter medications.
Since November 2020, the company has more than doubled its fulfillment centers from 200 to more than 450 sites delivering to 850 US cities. This week, Gopuff launched delivery in San Diego, California.
Also in July, the company launched a fresh-food delivery operation dubbed Gopuff Kitchen. The company is using mobile kitchens set up near its micro-fulfillment warehouses to cook made-to-order delivery-only meals and drinks such as specialty coffee, breakfast sandwiches, chicken fingers, tater tots, and salads. This allows customers to bundle grocery orders with hot meals.
Gopuff has also been on a buying spree. Over the past few months, the delivery operator bought BevMo, Liquor Barn, the UK delivery startup Fancy, and Bandit. It has also struck a delivery partnership with Uber.
With $1 billion in new funds, Gopuff said it will continue to accelerate its expansion in North America, the UK, and Europe. It also plans to hire “top talent” and focus “on enhancing its technology to continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” the company said.
Big companies including retailers, delivery companies and new platforms are on a hiring spree for advertising execs as they build out their own ad-sales businesses. Walmart, Macy’s, Walgreens, and Home Depot are setting up retail media platforms to offset thin retail margins. Amazon is gobbling up adtech expertise to sell a variety of ad formats to brands. And even digital platforms like TikTok and Spotify are vying for social and audio ad dollars.
Insider identified 43 recent advertising hires from companies including Home Depot, Instacart, TikTok, Amazon, Drizly, and Spotify that show how these businesses are making big hiring pushes for advertising execs.
This week: Silicon Valley is falling in love with ads … again
The great reopening is here, and with it, the opening of the purse strings for corporate marketing dollars.
That’s good news for tech companies whose business models rely on digital advertising, like Google and Facebook. But there’s a growing number of other tech companies you might not think of as advertising businesses who are looking to get in on the action.
It’s tough to say exactly what’s driving the trend, but the captains of the tech industry have been acting … differently, of late. Maybe it’s the result of 16 months in lockdown, or maybe it’s something in the Silicon Valley water. Whatever the cause, consider these recent incidents:
It looks like the kind of thing a sadistic dentist might try to strap you into, but this curious reclining chair and wraparound headrest is actually a coveted seat on Jeff Bezos’ spacecraft – the Blue Origin New Shepard – scheduled for takeoff in T minus 24 days.
There are six of these seats in the rocket’s capsule, but only four will be filled on the first ride: One for Bezos, one for his brother Mark, and two for a pair of unidentified passengers, one of whom ponied up $28 million for the privilege of the ride.
The seats are positioned next to giant windows so the passengers can relax and enjoy the celestial views. But the ride will be bumpy – the seats are designed to absorb some of the impact as the capsule soars more than 62 miles above sea level, with a force three times stronger than gravity that will pin the passengers to their chairs, and then plummets back down to Earth for a landing in the Texas desert.
“Almost no company has the resources to combat every social issue, and while making firm stances on social issues is great, creating real change requires diving deeply into a single issue, becoming educated, and taking concrete steps to combat the problem.”
Last year, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Uber-owned Postmates spent a record $203 million to convince California voters to pass Proposition 22, a company-authored ballot measure that let them avoid paying for new benefits the state had recently extended to their workers.
The companies said Prop 22, which created a new class of workers subject to different labor laws, would be a boon for workers of color and immigrants, who make up the vast majority of their drivers and delivery people.
But a forthcoming research paper by UC Hastings law professor and gig economy expert Veena Dubal argues that, despite the companies’ promises that Prop 22 would help achieve racial and economic justice for their workers, the law has had the exact opposite effect.
The new category of workers created by Prop 22, Dubal wrote, “is best understood as a new form of legalized racial subordination-lower wages and benefits for a people of color and immigrant workforce.”
Ride-hailing and food-delivery companies have pitched this hybrid employment status as an innovative “third way” to classify workers that offers the independence of being a contractor and some of the benefits that come with being an employee.
According to Dubal, such proposals are hardly innovative, and in fact look strikingly like discriminatory “wage codes” passed in the 1930s at the request of racist industrialists and plantation owners.
While those laws weren’t explicitly racist, their effects were. By exempting employers with mostly Black workforces, wage codes denied those workers minimum wage, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and unionization rights enjoyed by workers in majority white industries.
Dubal argues that Prop 22 is a recycled version of those racialized wage codes, and that this time around, companies used social justice arguments to persuade people it would have the opposite result.
Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
“There is a long history of systemic racism in traditional hiring practices, which is one of the reasons app-based work and the open access to earning opportunities it provides is valued by so many Californians,” Geoff Vetter, a spokesperson for the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, told Insider. (PADS, formerly called Yes on 22, was created and funded by the above companies to generate public support for Prop 22).
Co-opting racial justice language
Last August, Uber plastered 13 major cities with billboards that read: “If you tolerate racism, delete Uber,” timed to its sponsorship of a march commemorating the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
In September, Lyft aired a commercial featuring Maya Angelou reading her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” to announce its plan to provide subsidized rides to underserved communities during the pandemic.
“NAACP California, California State National Action Network, Hispanic 100, Si Se Puede Foundation, Black Women Organized for Political Action, and other trusted social justice leaders and civil rights organizations” supported Prop 22, Vetter told Insider.
The PR campaigns came amid a summer of uprising against police brutality and systemic racism, which in turn put pressure on companies to address racism within their own walls.
But the campaigns faced swift backlash from drivers and driver advocates who called them “gaslighting” and hypocritical.
The “delete Uber” language originally came from angry customers boycotting Uber for sending drivers to JFK airport during a taxi driver strike in protest of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Lyft cherry-picked Angelou’s words, omitting her lines critiquing exploitative labor practices (while research shows that Uber and Lyft reduce revenue for public transit, on which communities of color disproportionately rely).
But the bigger hypocrisy, Dubal argues, is that the companies were “highlighting particular forms of racial subjugation, while ignoring and profiting from others” – namely, the racial subjugation of their own workers.
“New racial wage code”
During the Great Depression, Congress established the first federal minimum wage law, social security benefits, and union rights in a major win for workers.
But “racist demands” from industrialists and plantation owners led Congress to exclude agricultural and domestic workers – the majority of whom were Black – from those laws, subjecting them to seperate and unequal workplace conditions, according to Dubal.
Those exemptions let companies pay primarily Black workforces 20% to 40% less than the minimum wage, Dubal found, citing research by historian Donna Hamilton, “undermining the economic stability of Black communities for decades to come.”
Prop 22 isn’t much different, Dubal argues, but this time, companies are masking their arguments in racial justice arguments and confusing legalese rather than openly racist terms.
In 2019, California passed AB-5, extending long-standing minimum wage, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and other protections to gig workers. After regulators and courts rejected claims by Uber and Lyft that AB-5 didn’t apply to them, the industry banded together to pass Prop 22, touting it as a boon to workers.
“Prop 22 guaranteed all drivers would earn at least 120% of minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile compensation toward expenses,” Vetter told Insider, pointing to claims by Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart that drivers are making more under the new law. (Companies’ earnings claims are difficult to evaluate because they refuse to share detailed pay data with the media, regulators, and independent researchers).
Dubal argues the bigger issue is that Prop 22 provides far less than what those workers should already have been receiving as employees under AB-5.
Under Prop 22, companies can: pay workers for only some of the hours they work; refuse to offer overtime pay, sick leave, family leave, and paid time off; cover just a fraction of healthcare costs; reimburse vehicle costs at barely 50% of the rate guaranteed to employees; provide bare-bones insurance that can leave drivers hanging out to dry; and avoid paying into unemployment and disability programs, shifting the burden to taxpayers.
These “second-class” labor protections, as Dubal describes them, become more problematic given the demographics of the workers subject to them. Lyft estimates that 69% of its drivers are people of color; one study estimates that, among all ride-hailing and food delivery workers in San Francisco, 78% are people of color and 56% are immigrants.
Ultimately, with Prop 22, Dubal wrote, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates “obscured the way in which the law created a new racial wage code, claiming instead to offer economic opportunities for people of color and concealing the exploitative conditions endemic to those ‘opportunities.'”
The ultra-fast delivery operator based in Germany told Insider that it plans to kickstart its 10-minute delivery service in select Brooklyn neighborhoods starting May 30. They’ll be competing directly with Fridge No More, a startup that delivers groceries within 15 minutes to parts of the New York City borough.
Unlike grocery-delivery operators Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber, Gorillas does not rely on gig workers to fulfill deliveries. Instead, it employs a fleet of bike couriers who deliver goods from strategically located “dark” warehouses.
The delivery fee in the US will cost $1.80 with no minimum purchase required. Consumers can order one item or a basket of goods. However, there are some weight limitations as groceries are delivered by bike. Each warehouse will hold about 2,000 to 2,500 items ranging from fresh produce and milk to cat litter.
“We are in love with the model,” CEO Kağan Sümer told Insider in an exclusive interview. “So if this model is executed the right way, it is going to be transformative in a big way.”
Depending on the neighborhood, Gorillas’ delivery choices will also include artisan foods from local businesses. In Brooklyn, Gorillas will carry bagels, ice cream, and chocolate truffles from Black Seed Bagel, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., and Fine and Raw, respectively.
On US launch day, the warehouses in Brooklyn will support the following neighborhoods: Bushwick, East Williamsburg, and parts of Downtown Brooklyn including Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens.
In the coming weeks, Gorillas said it plans to “expand quickly” to other parts of Brooklyn, as well as neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens.
“We are also eyeing other urban markets and you can expect to see Gorillas launch in other East, Central and West Coast cities by the end of the summer,” a company spokesperson told Insider.
Fridge No More also announced plans to expand beyond Brooklyn after its $15 million Series A funding round earlier this year.
Gorillas, which launched in June 2020, has more than 80 warehouses in 25 cities in Germany, the Netherlands, UK, and France. It plans to expand to Italy later this month, as well.
In Europe, Gorillas competes with Berlin-based Flink, Turkish delivery service Getir, and 10-minute delivery service Dija. Gorillas raised $290 million in a Series B round in March led by hedge fund Coatue.
Online grocery sales grew 54% in 2020, reaching nearly $96 billion, according to eMarketer. The segment is projected to surpass $100 billion in spending this year.
Instacart is dominating the space and saw huge growth during the pandemic, according to market research firm 1010data. The firm, which analyzes consumer behavior, said Instacart saw a 323% surge in year-over-year sales in 2020.
Still, with business restrictions easing in the US, the meteoric growth of online grocery orders appears to be slowing.
Edison Trends, which tracks online grocery transactions, said e-commerce grocery spending was up 88% in February 2021, compared to February 2020. In March, overall spending increased by just 37%.
This, however, doesn’t concern Sümer. While some consumers will return to “traditional” in-store shopping, Gorillas is betting more people will stick to online grocery shopping because they’ve grown addicted to fast delivery services.
“These people adapted, tasted this convenience, so they will want to keep on,” he said.
Companies across the US are joining in the largest-ever vaccination effort by offering employees perks if they receive the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
Receiving the vaccine is voluntary, but most companies have strongly encouraged employees get the immunization when it’s their turn. The two-dose vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNtech and the other from Moderna, were emergency approved in the US in December. Since then, almost 34 million people have received one or more doses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many states and localities have begun moving from the first phase of vaccinating health care workers and elderly living in long-term care facilities to immunizing front-line workers. With that, some companies are giving workers two to three hours of paid time off per dose received, and others are offering a stipend for employees who voluntarily get the shots when it’s their turn.
Recently, Publix, Petco and AT&T joined the growing list. Here’s the 18 Insider knows about so far:
Know of a company not on this list that’s offering employees time off, pay, or other perks to get vaccinated? Email Natasha, the reporter of this piece, at email@example.com.
Target is offering workers up to four hours of paid time off to get both shots of the vaccine and will pay for Lyft rides up to $15 for employees needing transportation to and from their appointment.
2. Dollar General
The discount chain was the first major retailer to announce an incentive for workers to get vaccinated. Dollar General employees can earn up to four hours of pay for receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and will receive extra time off if they have an adverse reaction.
Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and The Capital Grille, will offer workers four hours of paid time off, two hours per dose, Bloomberg reported. Employees must show proof of their vaccination to earn the time. The company doesn’t require the shots, but strongly encouraged workers to get them.
4. Shake Shack
The burger-and-shake restaurant chain will give workers 3 hours of pay per shot of the two-dose vaccine. Shake Shack didn’t mandate employees receive the vaccine but “strongly encouraged” it.
5. Noodles & Company
Workers will earn up to four hours of paid time off for receiving the vaccine, the company said in a Feb. 10 statement to Insider. The restaurant strongly recommended employees receive the vaccine but did not require it.
The grocer is giving employees a one-time $100 payment for getting the vaccine. On top of that, Kroger said it would give associates an added bonus of a $100 store card and 1,000 fuel points to “thank and reward” workers during the pandemic.
7. Trader Joe’s
The grocery retailer will offer all 50,000 employees two hours of pay per dose and allow for flexible scheduling so workers can make it to appointments.
The app will offer its US and Canada shoppers, who deliver groceries to customers, a $25 stipend to get vaccinated.
The German grocery chain is encouraging workers to get vaccinated by offering its US workers $200 in extra pay if they receive the immunization.
The fast food chain is giving workers four hours of pay for receiving the vaccine. Though getting the shots is not required, the company said it will connect employees with groups that can answer questions on the vaccination, Restaurant Business reported.
The coffee chain is offering workers two hours of pay per dose of the COVID-19 vaccine they receive.
Amtrak is allowing employees to get vaccinated during work hours, and will pay for two hours off if employees provide proof they received the shot. Workers will also be excused with pay for up to 48 hours if they have side effects.
15. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s
The meat-packing company is offering employees a $100 bonus incentive if they receive the vaccine voluntarily.
The pet-supply retailer told Insider it would offer employees a one-time payment of $75 for getting vaccinated. Plus, it will give a $25 donation to the Petco Partner Assistance Fund for each person who receives their shots.
AT&T is giving employees up to four hours of paid time off per dose, adding up to eight hours total for anyone who needs the hours to get the vaccine, a spokesperson said in an email to Insider. The company is also giving workers access to Castlight, a tool to help them find available vaccines in their area based on eligibility.
Publix will give associates a $125 gift card to the store after they get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers aren’t required to get the shots at Publix, but they will need to show proof of vaccination. The vaccine is optional, though encouraged, the company said.
19. Walmart and Sam’s Club
Beginning May 18, Walmart and Sam’s Club will give its associates below the store manager level $75 for being fully vaccinated, the companies announced on May 14. Workers are required to show their vaccine card in order to receive this bonus.
Police released the victims’ names on Tuesday morning. Among them are three people who worked at the store: Denny Stong, 20, Rikki Olds, 25, and Teri Leiker, 51.
Leiker had worked at King Soopers for roughly 30 years, with her friend Lexi Knutson telling Reuters that Leiker loved working at the grocery store.
“She loved going to work and enjoyed everything about being there,” Knutson told Reuters. “Her boyfriend and her had been good friends and began dating in the fall of 2019. He was working yesterday too. He is alive.”
Olds was a front-end manager at King Soopers, The Denver Post reports. Stong’s profile picture on Facebook was framed with the words: “I can’t stay home, I’m a Grocery Store Worker.”
A representative for Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers, said in a statement to Insider that the company is “horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless violence that occurred at our King Soopers store.”
“The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation,” the statement continued. “We will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement and our store will remain closed during the police investigation.”
Lynn Murray, 62, was shot while visiting the King Soopers as an Instacart shopper. Her husband, John Mackenzie, told The New York Times she had enjoyed working for Instacart after retiring from her career as a photo director.
“She was an amazing woman, probably the kindest person I’ve ever known,” Mackenzie told The Times. “Our lives are ruined, our tomorrows are forever filled with a sorrow that is unimaginable.”
“Violence of any kind has no place in our society,” Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta said in a social media post on Tuesday. “Our teams are working with law enforcement and the King Soopers team to assist in any way we can. We’ve reached out to the shopper’s family to offer our support & resources during this unimaginably difficult time.”
Mehta added: “For those members of our community who were shopping in the Boulder area, we’re also ensuring they’re able to take the time they need to grieve and recover from yesterday’s tragic events.”
“For the last year our members and other associates have fought an invisible enemy, COVID-19, but today several innocent souls were killed by an evil human,” Kim Cordova, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, the union that represents employees at the King Soopers store, said in a statement.
Instacart is an app that brings you groceries on-demand. Like food delivery services DoorDash and Uber Eats, they’re brought right to your door with safe, no-contact delivery.
You can shop at local grocery and convenience stores with Instacart. Once you place your order, a personal shopper will be sent to pluck your items off the shelves, check out, and drop them off on your doorstep. Because Instacart workers are freelancers, make sure to tip.
For $9.99 a month – or a cheaper $99 annual cost – you can purchase an Instacart Express Membership. You’ll get free deliveries for orders over $35 and reduced service fees on all orders.
But if you’re reading this article, you’ve likely given that service a try and decided it’s not for you.
Canceling is easy and can be done at any time. You can also request to have your free account deleted, but that will require a phone call.
How to delete your Instacart account
If you’re done with Instacart entirely and have no desire to use a free membership, you’ll have to call the company at 888-246-7822. Make sure you have your account information handy.
If you’re not interested in using the app, you can always just delete it from your device.